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Shortlist of six revealed for Leeds factory site

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The shortlist of the six consortia bidding to revamp the Tower Works site in Leeds' Holbeck Urban Village Development has been unveiled.

London-based Surface Architects is among the developer-led teams hoping to get their hands on the abandoned 19th-century factory in Globe Road - famous for its unusual Italianate towers.

Surface has teamed up with developer Nikal to compete against Allies & Morrison (with CTP St James), Cartwright Pickard (with Simons), a joint bid by Make and Stephenson Bell (with the Landmark Consortium), Carey Jones (with Town Centre Securities) and local firm Bauman Lyons (with ISIS).

Backed by Yorkshire Forward, it is hoped the winning scheme will become 'a potential flagship development' for the area, in the south of the city.

The competition brief calls for the teams to draw up plans for a new media-focused creative quarter while preserving the 'rich architectural legacy' of the canal-side site.

Designs must also incorporate proposals for improving links with the city centre and the nearby communities in Beeston Hill and Holbeck.

The first factory was built on the site back in 1864 and was named Tower Works after the three impressive Italian-styled towers - one of which is believed to have been copied from the Giotto campanile in Florence.

A winner is expected to be announced in October.

by Richard Waite

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